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‘Close to crisis’: Leading priest tells of ‘enormous pain’

Neil Mitchell

Image: The Age

One of Victoria’s most respected Catholic figures has told Neil Mitchell of the emotional toll of a painful week for the church.

Father Kevin Dillon says he’s “devastated” and “shocked … to the core” in the wake of historical sex charges against Cardinal George Pell.

It came days after the Australian census showed a sharp decrease in Catholics.

Neil Mitchell: Is it crisis time for the church?
Fr Kevin Dillon: Pretty close to it.

“Certainly the announcement yesterday is going to be a cause of enormous pain for Catholics,” he said.

“(I’m) just absolutely devastated.

“I wasn’t surprised because we knew this could well be coming, but I am shocked emotionally to the core.

“I had to really steel myself through (a) funeral yesterday to focus on the grieving family, because I was all over the place – still am, I guess.”

Neil Mitchell asked Fr Dillon what his message to clergy would be this weekend – click PLAY above to hear the interview

Neil Mitchell